Is My Ex Entitled to My Retirement Income During a Divorce?

Getting your share of retirement benefits in your divorce can play a major role in ensuring your future financial security.

In addition to the emotional impact of going through a divorce, it can jeopardize your current and future financial security. As part of your divorce proceedings, you need an experienced Texas divorce attorney to ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in terms of property division. Many people fail to realize that a divorcing spouse has a right to the other spouse’s retirements benefit and that these can be included as part of the division of assets as outlined in the divorce settlement.

Retirement Benefits in Marital Property Division

When getting a divorce, there are certain issues that much be resolved before a settlement is finalized. One of the major issues is dividing marital property. Texas is known as a community property state. Under Section 3.002 of the Texas Family Code , any property earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated during the marriage is assumed to belong to both parties. This does not apply to property either spouse owned prior to the marriage.

Community property may consist of homes, land, vehicles, and belongings such as furniture, artwork, and antiques. It also includes all financial accounts, investments, and shares in business, along with any retirement accounts. If your spouse contributed to an IRA, 401k plan, or other type of retirement program, you are entitled to a share of these funds as part of your marital property settlement, and vice versa.

Dividing Retirement Benefits During Divorce

Just because all marital property is assumed to be owned by both parties in a divorce , it does not mean that it is divided evenly between you and your spouse. The law requires that all assets are divided in a manner that is fair and just, depending on the following factors:

● The length of the marriage and the age of each spouse;

● Each spouse’s individual income and earning potential;

● Any premarital assets the spouses hold individually;

● Any career or educational sacrifices either party made in support of the other or for children in their relationship.

These and other factors will influence the total amount of your retirement benefits to which your spouse may be entitled. When making these types of arrangements, you will also need to address how these funds will be disbursed.

In the case of certain retirement plan benefits, such as a 401(K) account, your ex will need to show a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to the benefit manager to get retirement funds released. His or her attorney will need to obtain this order before your divorce is finalized and your ex will need to decide whether to roll these funds into his or her own retirement account, take a lump sum distribution and pay any associated penalties, or defer benefits until retirement age.

Our Pearland Divorce Attorney is Here to Help

Getting a fair amount in your property settlement plays a major role in recovering from divorce. To discuss retirement benefits and other assets to which you may be entitled, reach out to John Powell III, P.C. Call or contact our Texas divorce attorney online and request a consultation today.